Kiwi actress Shavaughn Ruakere — and her dashing partner, music festival guru Toby Burrows — are set to join the Kiwi talent drain to LA.
Last weekend the couple celebrated their pending shift to Tinseltown with a star-studded farewell at Mr Toms in Ponsonby. Guests included girl about town Anna Jobsz, TV host Erin Simpson, Labour MP Jacinda Ardern and her partner, Ocean documaker Clarke Gayford.
Ruakere and Burrows — one of the movers behind the mega-successful Rhythm and Vines festival — will depart New Zealand in the coming weeks after their visas are finalised.
“We are making a more permanent move to LA together,” Ruakere told Spy. “We are both excited about pursuing new opportunities.”
Ruakere dipped her toe in the Hollywood audition arena 11 months ago, before returning home for work.
Her first stint stateside came after her departure from Shortland Street, where she played nurse Roimata Samuels (previously Roimata Ngatai) from 2011-14. Her character was killed off in an explosion at the Warners’ bach in the 2013-14 season cliffhanger.
The pair won’t be lacking for friends when they set up base 10,490km away.
Ruakere will have close friends and fellow leading Kiwi actresses Kim Crossman and Fleur Saville to call on.
The Ruakere/Burrows coupling is not the first time someone from the R&V group has dated a former Shortland Street star.
Festival founding director Hamish Pinkham once dated Crossman. Burrows and Pinkham have spent a lot of time stateside this year, attending various music festivals, including Coachella.